ESGR honors Northern Kentucky employers

Story by Sgt. Scott Raymond, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

ESGR award

Dr. Marc Marlette is presented the Patriotic Employer Award by retired Maj. Gen. Robert Silverthorn, Kentucky ESGR Chairman, during an award ceremony in Florence, Ky., Sept. 17, 2012. (L-R) Ken Lucas, Commissioner of the Kentucky Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Anna Lafferty, Sgt. Scott Raymond, Dr. Marlette, Maj. Gen. Silverthorn.

FLORENCE, Ky. — On Sept. 15, 2012, a presidential proclamation was issued declaring the week of Sept. 16 – 22 as National Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week.  In the announcement, President Barack Obama called upon all Americans to express thanks to the members of the National Guard and Reserve and their civilian employers. He also called on State and local officials, private organizations, and all military commanders, to observe the week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.Kentucky’s ESGR responded with presentations of the Patriotic Employer award to employers in the Commonwealth.  During a ceremony hosted by the Florence Rotary Club in Florence, Ky., several Northern Kentucky businesses were honored for their contribution and support.

Among the recipients was Dr. Marc Marlette who runs his own dental practice in Florence.  He was nominated not by a service member, but by a military spouse.

Anna Lafferty knows all to well the struggles and demands placed on Families and employers that are left behind when the military deploys.  She stepped up to care for a family, a house, everything when I deployed to Iraq with the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in 2011.

Anna understood her new role as the head of our household, but she had just started a job as a dental assistant with a new office, Marlette Family Dentistry.

“I knew things would be tough,” she said. “Dr. Marlette hired me on knowing that I was the wife of a deploying Soldier, but having a military background, I think he knew what he was getting into.”

Times were rough indeed, but Anna said due in part to Marlette’s compassionate understanding, her job was never in question.  In addition to her friends and family members, Anna said her boss became a caring asset to help her through the difficult months.

“It’s a simple thing to do, supporting your employees while at the same time supporting your country,” said Marlette.  “Every employer should be supportive of those in the military.”

“Just because Anna’s not in the Army, she is affected as much as her husband is, and therefore my support should be there for both of them,” he said.

Marlette served for five years as a dentist in the U.S. Air Force.  Carrying on a military tradition in his family, Marlette enlisted not only to serve his country, but also to do what he thought would make him a better dentist.  He called Anna an invaluable member of his office and that her courage and strength should also be admired.  He said the award was a pleasant surprise that he will hang at his business.

“I feel privileged to support a service member who is willing to go to war for his country,” said Marlette.  “And also to know that I have such good employees working for me.”

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ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment.

Former U.S. Congressman and current Commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Ken Lucas joined Kentucky ESGR Chairman, retired Maj. Gen. Robert Silverthorn to present the employer awards.  As a former Air National Guard pilot, Lucas said he was glad to be part of the event.

“This award honors those who have empathy for the Guard and Reserve, and Families,” said Lucas. “It’s admirable to see (businesses) that are sensitive to the needs of those who went off to fight for our freedoms and our country.”

Since 9/11, more than 14,000 Kentucky Guardsmen have mobilized in support of the war on terror.  And thousands of employers have also had to deal with the adversity and changes of a changing workplace affected by deployments.

The President concluded his proclamation with a reminder of what ESGR is about.

“During National Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week, let us pay tribute to the brave men and women who keep our Nation safe and celebrate their devoted employers, whose support is vital to the strength of our military.”

For more information on Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, visit www.esgr.mil.

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